gwalla (gwalla) wrote in metaquotes,

How gardening is like politics

ursulav's posts on gardening are usually entertaining, but I especially liked this one. An excerpt:
All my dreams of the peaceful, Zen, one-with-natureness of gardening have largely been shattered by now. Instead, I find that gardening is like being El Presidente of a sulky and dissatisfied nation made up of thousands of seperate ethnic groups, many of whom are mortal enemies. No peaceful coexistance for plants. I find myself crowding them into terra cotta prisons, setting up botanical reservations, savagely beating anybody who slinks out of line. "Tear down this railroad tie!" cry the plants, crowding at the edge of their bed. Instead, I send in the army. (Okay, James.) There are beheadings. The weed whacker is used with a cruel and indiscriminate hand. The injured plants crowd back in the bed, lick their wounds, gaze at me with intense dislike. "The butterfly weed isn't even USING this space!" the ground ivy grumbles, as I rip it out. "Why can't I?" "It's not yours," says El Presidente. "To the gulag with you!" "Jerk," say the plants.

"We've been here for generations!" they cry, as I tear out swaths of plants and shove in natives I think ought to live there, recreating a sort of vegetative Palestinian/Israeli conflict in the bed. The parallels are undeniable. Suddenly I find myself thinking of the British settlement of Israel, not just as an interesting idea done badly, with no long-term planning, but as an exercise in gardening guilt. There is nothing I could have done to stop trillium from becoming endangered, I wasn't even born yet, and yet I will rip out ivy that's existed in this spot for fifty years to try and restore the abused trillium, and run roughshod over the ivy that tries to intrude. Does the ivy resent my interference? It has every right to. But what else can you do?

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